Switching broadband providers (RIP Speakeasy)

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Switching broadband providers (RIP Speakeasy)

Postposted on Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:40 am

After nearly 10 years with Speakeasy, I think the time may be approaching when I will need to leave them for another provider. The broadband market has not been kind to independent ISPs; as much as I'd like to continue to support what used to be a spectacular company, the writing is on the wall. I've probably been on borrowed time ever since Speakeasy decided to pull out of the residential market a few years back (I'm grandfathered in), and sold themselves to Best Buy (WTF?!??); a few months ago Best Buy turned around and sold 'em to Megapath.

For several days now, my DSL service has been a mess. There was an outage earlier this week, and things never returned to normal. Lots of dropped packets, repeated intermittent outages, and really poor throughput when it does manage to stay up. The badness seems to come in waves; sometimes it is so bad it is like being back on dial-up. I've been trying all evening to download some eBooks I bought from the O'Reilly half-off eBook sale, and it has been incredibly frustrating.

IMO the mess that has resulted from the Speakeasy-Covad-Megapath merger, plus the fact that they are still at the mercy of AT&T (who owns the "last mile" equipment) may very well prove fatal. To their credit some of their tech support people do still seem genuinely interested in helping (thanks, Kit!), but I suspect it is a losing battle. Other than Kit the support tech (who in the current regime has limited ability to actually *fix* things but did at least manage to keep the support ticket open when someone else wanted to close it after my circuit started passing a trickle of data again), MegaSpeakVad now seems to be ignoring my trouble ticket.

I'm looking at alternatives. If things don't return to normal within the next few days (and maybe even if they do...), I'll be signing a contract with someone else. A co-worker recently got Comcast Business Class service to his residence, and is quite pleased with it; as much as I detest some of Comcast's business practices, this may be my best option. It really pisses me off that Comcast may be my only viable alternative.

Unfortunately, even if I switch I will need to hang on to the Speakeasy account for a while, until my wife gets everyone she knows to switch over to a new e-mail address. She's already got a Gmail account, but not very many people know about her Gmail address yet.
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Re: Switching broadband providers (RIP Speakeasy)

Postposted on Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:58 am

Hey JBI - does Sonic.net work in your area? I don't know where you are but I know Speakeasy has had a California presence. Sonic gets good reviews all the time and I'm happy with them.
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Re: Switching broadband providers (RIP Speakeasy)

Postposted on Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:10 am

JBI, I feel your pain.

Yes, them being at the mercy of someone else to rent your line from is a big problem. I had 6Mb DSL through them for years. Lately, it had been getting really spotty. They said that likely Verizon had been adding more lines to my area and degraded the quality. So, I decided it was time to switch to FiOS.

I seriously miss the absolute competency of the Speakeasy support people. They could answer your question and get your requests right the first time. Questions like "what is my SMTP relay server", and requests like "I need you to update my reverse DNS records". I threw the latter one at Verizon (I have a business line so I could get static IPs) and the lady on the phone suspected I was speaking a different language, and had to get a higher tier support specialist to take care of it. Then they screwed up the billing, which took months to straighten out.

I'd love to have the speed and stability of FiOS coupled with the superior technical support of Speakeasy.
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Re: Switching broadband providers (RIP Speakeasy)

Postposted on Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:25 am

Blame the new management at Speakeasy. They want to get rid of the "residential users", because their main focus is the business users. They feel that Speakeasy cannot compete against mega-ISP giants (Comcast, Verizon, Cablevision, Time Warner) in terms of speed and price. They don't understand there is a market for residential users who are willing to pay extra for superior support, but I digress.

Their lack of interest and support is their subtle way of saying "FU, find another residential ISP". :roll:
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Re: Switching broadband providers (RIP Speakeasy)

Postposted on Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:19 am

My parents just got rid of their Speakeasy account (on since November, 1999) in favor of FiOS for reasons similar to your own. It probably costs Speakeasy money to keep the few remaining residential customers online if there aren't many left. Like everything else in the technology industry Speakeasy's time, along with its superior service and support is gone.
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Re: Switching broadband providers (RIP Speakeasy)

Postposted on Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:49 am

Until the recent merger the support was still good, even though the shift of focus occurred a few years back. Now the Speakeasy support number dumps directly into Megapath's phone menu, and I have yet to speak with anyone who used to work at Speakeasy. :cry:

I wish I could get FiOS here.
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Re: Switching broadband providers (RIP Speakeasy)

Postposted on Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:02 pm

I've been completely content with the internet provided by Brighthouse (aka Time Warner). No blocking port 80, no contract (huge plus in my book). Price is pretty good, and we got a 30% speed increase for free last year.
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Re: Switching broadband providers (RIP Speakeasy)

Postposted on Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:02 pm

Looks like they *finally* sorted things out and got my line working decently again about an hour ago. And it took them "only" 6 days. :roll:

Looking at their service ticket tracking system, it seems there was some goofy sh*t going on behind the scenes over the weekend that I wasn't even aware of. Back on Saturday, someone at Megapath apparently scheduled an appointment for a Covad technician to come out and look at my line today. Then a day later canceled the appointment. All this without any communication with me -- no e-mail, no phone call, nada. So were they just gonna show up today, and get pissed off because nobody was there to let them in? Who the F knows. Having a tech come out was pointless anyway, given that this was pretty clearly a CO-side equipment problem -- this whole mess started when they did some work on the DSLAM that my line runs into, so it was highly unlikely to be a problem at my end.

I guess I still need to be looking at other options...
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